Summoner Book 1: The Novice by Taran Matharu book review

Is Taran Matharu’s fantasy thriller The Novice the next Harry Potter?

Already an internet sensation on, Taran Matharu’s debut novel is destined to mark the beginning of a very exciting journey for young adult readers. With a Harry Potter-sized hole in the market, Summoner: The Novice, may have big enough balls to fill it.

There are incredible similarities between Harry and the 15-year-old hero of this new series, Fletcher, who leads a simple life in the village of Pelt. Abandoned as a baby, Fletcher has been raised by Berdon, the blacksmith who discovered the poor devil on his doorstep. Gifted an ancient and magical book by an old soldier, Fletcher discovers he has an aptitude for summoning demons, a craft that is required in the vicious war against the Orcs.

Think this all sounds a little familiar? Indeed, as well as orcs there are dwarves and elves too, and would you believe it, a Golem. Wondering if there will be one ring to bind them all too? Now that would just be blatant plagiarism, and the young author has more imagination than that.

Following an unfortunate incident with his demon and the town bully, Fletcher flees Pelt and finds himself student at a school for Summoners. There, he encounters an inspirational head teacher, a nice teacher, a firm but fair teacher and Rook, a real Snape in the grass! Fletcher has his work cut out as a commoner, and there are major race and class issues: the rich kids have Draco Malfoy tendencies and much stronger demons.

It’s clear Matharu has been inspired by Rowling and Tolkien; quite frankly what young writer hasn’t? While it is difficult not to make comparisons, why not take inspiration from two of the most celebrated literary giants in the stratosphere? It works.